A union official from one of the country's largest police forces has called a 2% pay rise for officers "dejecting and disappointing".
Thames Valley Police (TVP) Federation chairman Craig O'Leary claimed officers will look for new jobs because they are still underpaid.
He added the high standard of living in the south east meant the rise would not "go any way" to helping officers.
The government said the increases were affordable within its spending plans.
Thames Valley Police has been approached for comment.
He told BBC Radio Berkshire the "miserly" rise could be a "tipping point" for a lot of officers who may seek better employment "where they could be rewarded".
The federation has previously said the high cost of living in the Thames Valley area was making it difficult to recruit detectives.
"The area is a very expensive place to live, and that pay rise is not going to go any way to helping officers", Mr O'Leary said.